December 14, 2022

Rep. Castro, Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s Latino Film Nomination Included in National Film Registry

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) and Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chair Raul Ruiz (CA-36) celebrated the inclusion of Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) and The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982) in the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry. The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez was one of 25 films nominated for Registry inclusion by the CHC as part of the caucus’s ongoing effort to highlight Latino contributions to American media and entertainment. Last year, under Congressman Castro’s chairmanship, the CHC successfully nominated the 1997 biographical film “Selena” to the National Film Registry.

“Despite Latinos being underrepresented for generations in Hollywood, our community has left a mark on our national film culture,” said Congressman Castro. “By including Cyrano de Bergerac and CHC-nominated The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez in the National Film Registry, the Library of Congress has taken a critical step to preserve the work of Latino actors and industry creatives. For years, I’ve worked with my colleagues in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and advocates like Brenda Castillo, Rafael Agustín, and Charles Ramirez Berg to enshrine Latino contributions in our nation’s cultural heritage, and I look forward to our continued work to uplift diverse Latino stories.”

The National Film Registry is the nation’s preeminent archive of films. Established by the National Film Preservation Act, the Registry is intended to maintain and preserve works of films deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant to life in the United States. On an annual basis, the National Film Preservation Board selects 25 films to add to the registry and preserve in the Library of Congress. The registry currently contains 850 works, of which just 25 (2.9%) are classified by the Library of Congress as connected to the Latino community.

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez is a retelling of the true story of a Mexican farmer turned outlaw folk hero in turn-of-the-century South Texas. In 1988, lead actor Edward James Olmos became the first Mexican American to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in ‘Stand and Deliver’ (1988). 

Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)

The 1950 adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac is an adventure comedy and the first English-language adaptation of the eponymic French drama. Actor José Ferrer received the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of the title character, Cyrano de Bergerac, making him the first Puerto Rican actor and the first Hispanic actor to win the award.